Southeast Asia’s Largest Desalination Plant Comes up in Tamil Nadu

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▪ Chief Minister MK Stalin laid the foundation for a desalination plant in Perur.

▪ The plant is set to be the largest desalination plant in Southeast Asia.

▪ Funding for the plant comes from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Southeast Asia’s Largest Desalination Plant

▪ The construction of the plant, situated on 85.51 acres, is expected to be completed by 2026.

▪ Advanced water treatment methods like dissolved air flotation and dual media filtration will be used.

▪ HDPE pipelines will extend 1,150 meters into the sea, and drinking water pipelines will stretch for 59 km from the plant to Porur.

▪ Upon completion, the plant will provide an additional 400 MLD of water to serve 22.67 lakh people in Chennai and surrounding areas, including Tambaram, Kovilanchery, Perumbakkam, Kolappakkam, and Vandalur.

▪ This will be the fourth desalination plant in the city, with capacities of 100 MLD, 100 MLD, and 150 MLD respectively.

▪ The first desalination plant was inaugurated in Minjur on July 31, 2010, by former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

▪ MK Stalin had previously laid the foundation for the 100 MLD Nemmeli desalination plant on February 23, 2010.

▪ Another plant with a capacity of 150 MLD is under construction in Nemmeli.

What is Desalination Plant?

▪ A desalination plant is a facility that removes salt from seawater or brackish water to produce freshwater. The most common desalination processes are distillation and reverse osmosis.

  • Distillation is the traditional process of desalination. It involves boiling seawater and then condensing the steam to produce fresh water. This process is energy-intensive, but it is also very effective at removing salt.
  • Reverse osmosis is a newer desalination process that uses semipermeable membranes to separate water molecules from salt molecules. This process is less energy-intensive than distillation, but it is not as effective at removing salt.

▪ Desalination plants are used in many parts of the world where freshwater is scarce. They are also used in some coastal areas to supplement freshwater supplies.

▪ The world’s largest desalination plant is located in Ras Al-Khair, Saudi Arabia. It has a capacity of 1,036,000 cubic meters per day.

Advantages of Desalination Plant

  • Can produce freshwater from seawater or brackish water, which can be a valuable resource in areas with limited freshwater supplies.
  • Can be used to supplement freshwater supplies in coastal areas.
  • Can be used to produce high-quality water that is suitable for drinking, industrial, and agricultural use.

Disadvantages of Desalination Plant

  • Can be energy-intensive, which can make it an expensive way to produce freshwater.
  • Can produce brine, which is a concentrated solution of salt and other minerals that can be harmful to the environment.
  • Can require a large amount of land, which can be a constraint in some areas.

Overall, desalination plants can be a valuable tool for producing freshwater in areas with limited freshwater supplies. However, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of desalination before deciding whether or not to use it.

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